Double stop

Playing two strings at once on an instrument / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In music, a double stop is the technique of playing two notes simultaneously on a stringed instrument such as a violin, a viola, a cello, or a double bass. On instruments such as the Hardanger fiddle it is common and often employed. In performing a double stop, two separate strings are bowed or plucked simultaneously. Although the term itself suggests these strings are to be fingered (stopped), in practice one or both strings may be open.

    \relative c {
        \time 4/4
        \clef bass
        \tempo "Allegro"
        <g e' c'>2 \f \downbow <g d' b'> \downbow
        <c, g' e' c'>2. \downbow
Cello triple and quadruple stops from the opening of Jean-Baptiste Bréval's Sonata in C major for cello and piano
The beginning of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1787). The first and second violins have a triple stop notated. The low D is to be bowed only briefly and left to ring. Shortly afterwards, B and G are played normally.

A triple stop is the same technique applied to three strings; a quadruple stop applies to four strings. Double, triple, and quadruple stopping are collectively known as multiple stopping.

Early extensive examples of the double stop and string chords appear in Carlo Farina's Capriccio Stravagante from 1627, and in certain of the sonatas of Biagio Marini's Op. 8 of 1629.